Rugby mad would sum up the Dow family with Abby adding to the exploits of her brother Chris, a Maidenhead player until injury curtailed his career and her sister Ruth, who appeared for Maidenhead, Reading, Wasps and the England U20 team. There’s more. Dad Paul was Abby’s coach when she was a mini at Maidenhead, where she started at the age of five.
Abby recalled: “My dad would sit and read book after book about rugby so that he would always have something new to try and teach me. After my first game for the England U20 side I realised how much I wanted to play and train at that level. My proudest moment so far was being involved in the U20 Canadian Series in August 2016. I loved every second on the pitch but my biggest obstacle has been finding the time between education and playing.”
Slough born, she has started her first year of a course in mechanical engineering at Imperial College, London, having attended White Waltham Primary School, Newlands Girls’ School and Reading Blue Coat School. She made her debut for Wasps in a cup match against Henley Hawks and represented England U18 Sevens, drawing inspiration from her favourite players Josh Lewsey and Maggie Alphonsi.
Multiple coaches have helped Abby along the way. She said: “Most of my development has come from Jo Yapp (the England Women U20 head coach). She is a massive fountain of knowledge and has helped me to improve dramatically.” Earlier mentors were Seth Lawrence, Steve Prince and Allan Greene at Maidenhead and Malcolm Darvell, David Edwards and Nicola Brooks at Reading. Nowadays at Wasps, Craig Foster and Oli Bishop have helped me to understand the details of my position on the wing.”
She also enjoys swimming, watching Wimbledon tennis, dog walking and Indie Rock music. Her favourite film is Shawshank Redemption and she loves the Great British Bake Off on TV, reading Harry Potter books and eating lasagne. “Competitive, hard-working and energetic” are her own words to describe her psyche while, she reckons, her friends would say: “Sarcastic, diligent and talented”.
Last updated: 22 February 2017